Saturday, March 16, 2013

Artnotes: Dual (sic)

 Primrose White   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acyrlic on wood   5 x 10 inches
 Cherry Trees in Snow   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic on canvas  9.5 x 14 inches
 Jonquils   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic on canvas  11 x 16 inches
Duel  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic on canvas  11 x 16 inches

Dual (sic)

Harika and I came down with the same stomach bug this week, and now I know what it is like to be sick as a dog.   We spent two days on the bed together, thinking of crazy ideas in our delirium (An April Showers/May flowers show, for one thing).   As near as I can tell the first use of “sick as a dog” was from 1705.  I would have thought the expression would have come from “sic” as in “ Sic(k) ‘em Harika,” but no,  it has to do with the gastro-instestinal  difficulties in dogs.

The week was historic all around, with the staging of a “d’Artagnan” event on our very street, rue Servandoni.  Although the Three Musketeers was written by Alexandre Dumas in the 1840s, it is about d’Artagnan going to join the Musketeers in 1625. 

A man in a red velvet suit and a feather in his hat emerged from our basement at the gallery.  He was followed by another man similarly attired, carrying a sword.  A milkmaid, a rapscallion, a cavalier who looked like he stepped off a playing card…  

Two weeks prior, a red-haired woman came into the gallery.   “Would you be interested in hosting an event surround d’Artagnan?” she asked.  “YES, “  I replied, “when?”   She stood dumbfounded.  She went on to explain she’d asked every business on our street and each person had said no.  “It’s because I am American, “ I told her.  “Really? You speak English?”  Like a champion.

It turned out our gallery was perfect.  There was a scene in the performance which required a place under renovation – and I had three gaping holes in the ceiling.   In fact, I was given a line or two:  when the rapscallion brought the visitors to the door, I was to tell them I had a message for them from d’Artagnan’s father – written on parchment, found during our renovations, if they had the “sign”.  They would show me a large chess piece and Voila!  I would present them with a further clue.

There was a duel in the street, and a fire breather in the place St. Sulpice.  It was a marvelous juxtaposition between the Musketeers and the twenty-first century, a performance gifted from a husband to his wife and son.  

The performers really hammed it up, in the way those artist-types can.  The fellow in black lay in the street, in front of a car, while pictures were taken of the performers and the patrons.  A little girl begged to touch the lady-in-waiting’s dress, squealing  “ a real princess!!!”     The rapscallion in black (he reminded me most of the peg-legged sailor in a Wyeth illustration) terrorized children and parents passing by, and garnered 5 euros from someone who was sure he was some special style of French beggar.

Two hours later, we returned to our everyday life, with the knowledge a change of outfit and no fear could turn our lives into something altogether different.

Luckily, this all took place before the snow on Tuesday.  Yes, it snowed all day.  It allowed me to perfect my snowball.  Since my clavicle repair in February 2009, I’ve been off on my “pitch”: boules, bowling, snowballs.  After reading Tim Ferriss’ 4-hour Chef piece on how to make a perfect Foul Shot in Basketball, I was able to line up my eye and arm, and hit the stop light at, well, at least 15 feet!

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